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Employsure Fined $1M For Misleading Google Ads

Workplace relations advisor Employsure has been hit with a $1 million fine for breaching the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading representations in its Google Ads.

The proceedings were brought to the Federal Court by the ACCC, after Employsure ran a series of ads that suggested it was affiliated with a government agency.

The ads, as seen below, appeared in response to search terms such as ‘fair work ombudsman’, and contained headlines such as ‘Fair Work Ombudsman Help – Free 24/7 Employer Advice’ and ‘Fair Work Commission Advice – Free Employer Advice’.

“We consider that misrepresenting a business as being part of, or affiliated with, the government is a particularly serious breach of our consumer law, and publication of the Google Ads, including over a prolonged period of time, points to a significant compliance failure,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“The ACCC took this action following over 100 complaints about Employsure, including from small businesses who claimed they had contacted Employsure after viewing a Google Ad and thought they were dealing with a government agency.

“The ACCC was particularly concerned that consumers may have entered into contracts with Employsure for a significant fee because they believed the advertised services were to be provided by the official government authority, or a government affiliate, but this was not accepted by the Court in determining the penalty,” Sims concluded.

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